INVEST in America Act Introduces Equine Legislation

Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America (INVEST) Act, H.R.3684, a surface transportation bill, directs federal investments in roads, bridges, transit, and rail, re-imagines our national transportation policies includes two equine transportation bills as amendments.

The first, adopted at the committee level, mirrors the Horse Transportation Safety Act. This “double decker” bill shares the following language,

Transportation of horses.
“PROHIBITION.—No person may transport, or cause to be transported, a horse from a place in a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States through or to a place in another State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of each other.”

This prohibition most significantly impacts the shipment of rodeo stock around the country as they represent the final sector who have continued to haul horses in mixed load livestock hauling situations.

The second, equine amendment mirrors the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act of 2021 which was introduced May 19, 2021. This legislation would permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States as well as prohibit the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses to be sold overseas. While this legislation boasts a new name, the text looks to be unchanged. The previous SAFE Act, titled the “Safeguard American Food Exports” Act, has been introduced in every Congress since 2013, reaching a peak number of Co-sponsors in the last Congress at 236. The amendment was introduced during the June 30th floor vote on the INVEST Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives on July 1st.

Due to Republican opposition to the the bill as presented, the Senate is likely to finalize their own version of a surface transportation bill, necessitating the creation of a conference committee, which is a temporary, ad hoc panel composed of House and Senate conferees which is formed for the purpose of reconciling differences in legislation that has passed both chambers.

The AHC will continue to monitor this legislation as it moves through the Senate. AHC will keep members appraised of developments and possible implications.

If you have any questions, please contact Cliff Williamson at cwilliamson@horsecouncil.org

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